- Diet & Weight Loss
Belly Fat; an Obvious but Unknown Hidden Danger
Deadly and Dangerous
We have read for years that belly fat is dangerous. I for one, have a very large belly and it seems to be the place that I hold most of my weight. I experience back problems, reflux and mobility problems due to my enlarged girth size. It seems that I am forever on a "diet" that will help me lost weight and decrease my waist and eventually my pants size. Recently, I have been delving into research based on belly fat. It is shocking; the information I have found. I want to share it with you, and hopefully, if you too suffer from a large mid-section; this will inspire you to make some changes in your life.
Bellies Take On Different Shapes and Sizes
A rounded belly should not be your only concern. Bellies that are round, wide, protrude over the belt or form large rolls; the lower ones known as "pouches" are ways that we store fat in our stomach area.
The pinch an inch rule used to be applied in the past to see if you needed to drop a few pounds. In this day and age of fast food, large portions in restaurants and casual eating, we have promoted food to the top of our social calendar, instead of eating simply out of hunger and we as a nation are now facing more health problems and weight problems than ever before.
Belly fat is known to cause diabetes, heart disease and stroke; even early death. Now, recent studies also link belly fat to dementia or other components that can lead to Alzheimer's disease. All fat is not the same. It is very important to place concern on your bulging waistline as the number one priority for reduction. Doing so, you will improve your chances of minimizing or avoiding these health risks.
Pouches Belong on Kangaroos Not Us
These two pictures show extreme examples of pouches that can form on a human. Sadly, many people do carry weight in their stomach areas that sag down to their knees. I am not posting these pictures for others to laugh at; rather to see how serious belly fat can become. We have watched those reality shows that focus on large people and the efforts they make to leave their homes. I am sure you have seen a large person take up two seats on an airplane or in a movie theater.
Besides inviting major health diseases, those of us with pouches (no matter how small or how big) have fat build up around our inner organs. This is a fact. The larger your stomach, the more fat build up you have internally.
People that have folds and pouches also deal with daily hygiene and medical issues. It is very difficult to keep larger areas clean. Air doesn't get into areas covered by masses of skin and weight. Staph infections, fungus, infections and more can occur in these areas. Chaffed skin becomes bleeding skin and the pain isn't easily remedied. Creams prescribed by physicians or over the counter remedies such as absorbent powders and baby rash creams are temporary solutions to the problems one faces when their round bellies begin to take the form of large rolls.
100 Pounds of Fat
This image shows 100 pounds of solid fat. People who have large amounts of belly fat are often plagued with inflammation, hardening of the arteries and a greater chance of developing other diseases of the body. In looking at this picture, it is hard to imagine that over years, we have put this much solid waste into our bodies. The fact is, we do this every time we eat processed food, have extra portions, consume fast food or fried, fatty foods.
An interesting step some people have taken is to put a visual up for themselves, such as the one here. For each five or ten pounds lost, a bag of flour or sugar is put somewhere as a reminder of the weight of the fat that has been lost. Or, one could be more visual by going to their local meat market and asking for pounds of fat to represent fat lost from the stomach. It easily freezes for storage.
We All Have Fat...Look at What Kind However
We need some fat in our diet. Otherwise, our hair would lose it's softness and shine. Our skin would be dry and scaly. The kind of fat we consume should be heart healthy fats such as avocado, salmon, nuts and so forth.
The visceral fat that begins to form around our organs and begins as an extended abdomen is working its way to making you the poster child of health problems if you don't begin to change your lifestyle soon.
Visceral fat is found around our organs. While we may enjoy a cushy pillow or thick comforter, our organs do not. This fat impedes functioning and the end result can be deadly. Subcutaneous fat is the fat we have under the skin. This kind of fat is not the cause of major health problems.
What is the Answer?
Some people think that a quick fix will be the answer for them. Liposuction is a common method used. If you look at the model to the right however, you will see that liposuction targets the subcutaneous fat and not the visceral fat that endangers the organs on the body.
Other people opt for surgery with stomach stapling, bands or re-routing their digestive systems. While these surgeries have shown many people success, they are surgeries nonetheless and every surgery, especially on a person with poor health and circulation, can invite more health issues and in rare cases death. Also, people who have had gastric bypasses or other invasive surgeries have found that they eventually begin to gain the weight back over time if they aren't strict about eating minimal amounts of healthy foods.
It boils down to finding a diet plan that will not only help you lose weight but a plan that will allow the visceral fat within to begin to melt away. Having a rapid weight loss will not target this inner fat right away. Perhaps, this is why people who lose weight quickly end up gaining it back. Slow and steady wins the race.
We need to retrain our minds and our bodies to eat out of hunger. Easier said than done. It is very easy to confuse hunger with emotional pangs, boredom and the need to appease any oral fixations we may be plagued with . If you smoke, bite your nails, need to chew gum or have an object in your mouth all the time (such as a pen or pencil), then you have an oral fixation and food, being comforting makes you feel comforted.
Losing weight is most likely one of the most difficult things to do. If you are a person with a lot of belly fat, then it is important that you recognize you already have more fat build up around your inner organs than you should.
Consult your physician about a plan that would work best for you. No need to join a gym when you may never go beyond the first week. Brisk walking, according to the University of Michigan is the most effective way to burn belly fat. Begin to wean yourself off of processed and restaurant foods. Allow yourself an outing once a week or on weekends only. Force yourself to take leftovers home for the next day; not for late night eating. If your body knows it will be rewarded with something that it craves once in a while, those attacks of wanting to consume everything in sight will begin to diminish.
Whatever method you chose to incorporate into your daily life, do so with the knowledge of getting healthier. To live longer. Good luck to all of us!